by Musa al-Gharbi @Musa_alGharbi / http://america.aljazeera.com
The horrific rampage of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has captured the world’s attention. Many Western commentators have characterized ISIL’s crimes as unique, no longer practiced anywhere else in the civilized world. They argue that the group’s barbarism is intrinsically Islamic, a product of theaggressive and archaic worldview that dominates the Muslim world. The ignorance of these claims is stunning.
While there other organized groups whose depravity and threat to the United States far surpasses that of ISIL, none have engendered the same kind of collective indignation and hysteria. This raises a question: Are Americans primarily concerned with ISIL’s atrocities or with the fact that Muslims are committing these crimes?
For example, even as the U.S. media and policymakers radically inflate ISIL’s threat to the Middle East andUnited States, most Americans appear to be unaware of the scale of the atrocities committed by Mexican drug cartels and the threat they pose to the United States.
People found guilty of Internet “trolling” in Britain could be jailed for up to two years under government proposals outlined, following a number of high-profile case of abuse on Twitter (AFP Photo/Damien Meyer)
London (AFP) – People found guilty of Internet “trolling” in Britain could be jailed for up to two years under government proposals outlined on Sunday, following a number of high-profile cases of abusive and threatening behaviour on Twitter.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling told the Mail on Sunday newspaper: “This is a law to combat cruelty — and marks our determination to take a stand against a baying cyber-mob.”
BY JEREMY SCAHILL AND RYAN DEVEREAUX / https://firstlook.org/
The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.
The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings. The new guidelines allow individuals to be designated as representatives of terror organizations without any evidence they are actually connected to such organizations, and it gives a single White House official the unilateral authority to place entire “categories” of people the government is tracking onto the no fly and selectee lists. It broadens the authority of government officials to “nominate” people to the watchlists based on what is vaguely described as “fragmentary information.” It also allows for dead people to be watchlisted.
By Christopher Ingraham / http://www.washingtonpost.com/
No pressure, Colorado and Washington, but the world is scrutinizing your every move.
That was the take-home message of an event today at the Brookings Institution, discussing the international impact of the move toward marijuana legalization at the state-level in the U.S. Laws passed in Colorado and Washington, with other states presumably to come, create a tension with the U.S. obligations toward three major international treaties governing drug control. Historically the U.S. has been a strong advocate of all three conventions, which “commit the United States to punish and even criminalize activity related to recreational marijuana,” according to Brookings’ Wells Bennet.
The U.S. response to this tension has thusfar been to call for more “flexibility” in how countries interpret them. This policy was made explicit in recent remarks by Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield, who last week at the United Nations said that “we have to be tolerant of different countries, in response to their own national circumstances and conditions, exploring and using different national drug control policies.” He went on: “How could I, a representative of the Government of the United States of America, be intolerant of a government that permits any experimentation with legalization of marijuana if two of the 50 states of the United States of America have chosen to walk down that road?”
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In this video Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange talks to Sophia Lierenfeld who found herself at the annual pumpkin festival this year in New Hampshire as riots broke out. She wanted to know how in this random situation with only a cell phone what she could do to be an independent journalist and break the story.
To find out more about Sophia check out http://facebook.com/sophialierenfeld or